Israeli forces nab suspected terrorists in deadly West Bank shooting

6 Palestinians arrested in overnight raid; troops seize guns, car suspected of being used in attack that killed Yehuda Dimentman, wounded 2 others

Israeli special forces arrest two men suspected of being part of the cell that carried out a deadly shooting attack outside the Horesh outpost in the West Bank, on December 19, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli special forces arrest two men suspected of being part of the cell that carried out a deadly shooting attack outside the Horesh outpost in the West Bank, on December 19, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli security arrested the terrorist cell suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting attack in the West Bank last week, the Shin Bet security agency said Sunday morning.

Six suspects were arrested during an overnight raid in the northern West Bank village of Silat al-Harithiya, near Jenin, by the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police’s Yamam counterterrorism unit. They were all handed over to the Shin Bet for interrogation.

Two of them were believed to have carried out the shooting attack itself, while the others were suspected of having assisted or otherwise being involved in the cell, IDF Spokesperson Ron Kochav told reporters on Sunday morning.

Kochav said Israeli security services planned to interrogate the suspects and glean from them information that would help prevent future attacks, indicating that they were members of a larger organization. Though the spokesman said he could not immediately comment on the suspects’ connection to any terrorist groups.

The suspects were arrested without incident at roughly 2:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. They had been spread out among multiple houses in the village, officials said.

The Shin Bet said troops also recovered weapons suspected to have been used in Thursday’s attack, along with at least one other that was in the possession of the cell, including two M-16 rifles and a Carlo-style submachine gun, a locally produced makeshift weapon. Police later released photos of the guns.

A photo released by the Israel Police on December 19, 2021, shows guns allegedly used in a deadly terror attack near the West Bank outpost of Homesh. (Israel Police)

“Security forces will continue to work to bring those involved in terror activities to justice,” a Shin Bet statement said.

Israeli forces carried out intensive searches in the northern West Bank for several days following the attack, in which Yehuda Dimentman was killed and two others were lightly hurt.

They came under fire as they left the Homesh outpost. A military official said their car was ambushed from the side of the road.

Yehuda Dimentman. (Courtesy)

Dimentman was a student at a yeshiva, or religious school, near where the attack took place. Homesh is a settlement that was meant to have been abandoned as part of a 2005 eviction but is now the site of the illegally operated yeshiva.

The 25-year-old was a father of a nine-month-old son and lived in the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron.

Three infantry battalions of troops, along with special forces and intelligence units, were deployed to the West Bank following the attack, as the military, Shin Bet security service and Israel Police scoured the area for the assailants.

Hundreds of people took part in his funeral, which began at Homesh. Eulogies were made there, and a procession then visited the place of the attack before traveling to Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul cemetery, where Dimentman was interred.

Military and police forces heavily secured the event.

Family and friends attend the funeral of Yehuda Dimentman, in Jerusalem, on December 17, 2021. Dimentman was shot dead in a December 16 terror attack. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

In response to the attack, settlers set up a makeshift structure near Kiryat Arba in the southern West Bank, in an attempt to establish a new outpost, naming it after the victim.

Hours later, the building was dismantled by police, and a dozen settlers were evacuated from the hilltop near the Route 60 highway. Two were briefly detained amid the evacuation, the Ynet news site reported.

The Palestinian terror groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine praised Thursday’s attack, but did not take responsibility for it.

The past few weeks have seen a rise in Palestinian terror attacks, with four taking place in Jerusalem alone, including a deadly shooting committed by a member of Hamas.

There has also been a noted rise in settler violence toward Palestinians.

A group of extremist settlers assaulted Palestinians and vandalized property in a West Bank village near Nablus overnight Thursday, Palestinian media reported Friday, hours after the attack.

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